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Staying Warm… and Fit!

It is the middle of November and cold weather is finally upon us!

The holiday season is approaching us with the promise of turkey, stuffing, dressings, and pies- so exercising and staying active is extremely important. However, dropping calories can be deterring when the temperature is also dropping. It’s easier for us to compromise staying in bed, toasty and warm, rather than outside exercising in the cold. Here are some ways I recommend staying active and warm when exercising in chilly weather:

1) Dressing in layers. When you exercise, of course you sweat. The sweat in the cold weather makes you more exposed to illnesses like a cold, or worse, hypothermia. Therefore, by dressing in layers, you can remove the sweaty article of clothing, while still remaining dry…and healthy!

2) Make sure you protect your hands, feet and ears. Your hands, feet and ears are most susceptible to the cold. Keep these parts unexposed by wearing hats, gloves, and thick socks. Don’t be too scared to pull out those tacky wool socks and mittens on chilly days. These articles of clothing could really prevent a week of sneezing and coughing.

3) Check the weather.  If Bob Breck says there’s a freeze warning, it may be a good idea to just practice some inside exercises instead! Exercising during a wind chill can be very hazardous to your health, even if you do dress warmly. We’re not prone to extremely cold weather here in New Orleans, but it’s always a great idea to have a back-up work out plan. Also, be willing to adjust your work out plan around the daily weather. Your morning jog may have to wait until the mid afternoon if the temperature is too low and the wind is too strong.

If you keep warm at all times, it should be no problem being active!

Written by Douglas T. Mehaffie, M.D.

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